NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Students and parents are pushing for students to have the choice to return to in-person classes come January 7th.
Last week, Metro Schools moved all classes to virtual learning to help cut down on the spread of COVID-19.
The coalition of MNPS parents called "Let Nashville Parents Choose" hosted a rally Sunday afternoon. They gathered outside of the school district's main office, pushing for students to have the choice to return to in-person classes come January 7th.
"Where is the student interaction," said high school student Daniel Bush. "When I have questions, I don't want to email them, I want them in front of me to walk me through the lesson, to make sure I'm learning so I'm prepared for college."
A big reason for the push is parents worry that their children will fall behind on their schooling if virtual learning continues. So far this year, about 21,000 students have been absent for school at least five times this year.
"This is unacceptable," said parent and MNPS school board member, Fran Bush. "We have to do better by our kids to make sure we do it safely but if this city is open why aren't our schools opened?"
All Students returned to virtual learning November 30th.
This included exceptional needs and elementary school students, who were previously attending school in person.
Metro Schools Director Dr. Adrienne Battle said they decided to make this change for the safety of the students because the virus numbers continued to surge.
Supporters at this rally believe the school district could have students back in classrooms safely by following CDC guidelines.
"It's important for parents to have a voice and a choice," Bush said. "We understand this pandemic is real and how it affects our lives, but we have to live with it."
The rally was part of a national movement. Groups across the country are hosting rallies like this one advocating for schools to re-open.